Dr. Gloria Schrager has written a revealing memoir about her struggle to become a doctor at a time when women physicians were an anomaly. The era she has lived through has been incredibly eventful: she relates how the Great Depression, World War II, the McCarthy Unamerican Activities Committee, the overt bias and harassment that women in the professions had to face, all impacted on her life. But the memoir has a lighter side, recounting some of the adventures and mishaps of medical school, internship, maintaining a successful marriage and raising a family while engaged in the full-time practice of medicine. Both of her sons as well as a niece and grandniece have become physicians, and the book describes some the differences, both good and bad, between the practice of medicine today and how it was practiced over fifty years ago.
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About the Author
Dr. Gloria O. Schrager began her education in a one-room schoolhouse in a small Adirondack village, Schroon Lake, in upper New York State, during the Great Depression. Later, she was sent to live with relatives in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Brooklyn College. She decided to become a doctor at a time when this was a very unusual profession for women, and had to struggle against flagrant bias and harassment. She met her future husband, Alvin J. Schrager, MD, during her internship, and the title of this book is a paraphrase of the first words he spoke to her. They started a private practice in Westfield, NJ, and had two sons, both of whom became physicians, as did her niece and grandniece. In 1972, she left private practice to become the full-time Director of Pediatrics at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, where she founded the Pediatric Residency Training Program. She retired in 1989 but still teaches at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.